THE complications of COVID-19 have changed the course of travel between Jamaica and key destinations like the United States. Some Jamaicans who live overseas have been stranded due to flight restrictions, mainly in the US and Canada.
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Cawley is head of Travelers Care, a Los Angeles-based company that accompanies seniors and minors on flights to and from the US and Canada.
She told the Business Observer that Travelers Care has seen a jump in demand for their services.
“We've had an increase from Jamaica and Canada. There are people who have been in Jamaica since December. Many who are ready to leave, as well as those parents who have custody orders whose children need to be with the other parent,” she disclosed.
According to Cawley, her company has increased its staff quota to meet this surge. She is expected in Kingston this weekend to accompany a client to Orlando.
Since the Jamaican Government reopened airports in Kingston and Montego Bay in May, Travelers Care has undertaken assignments from Kingston to Florida, New York and Connecticut.
Cawley said their package appeals to anxious relatives of people stranded in Jamaica.
“We take care of all logistics for our customers including contacting the airline, rebooking the customer and linking travel companions' reservations to that of the customers. It's already stressful for many their loved ones aren't able to accompany them home,” she explained. “We will fly with them to their airport destination, helping them with every single thing, giving them and their loved ones peace of mind.”
As of July 20, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reported 774 positive cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica, with 10 deaths.
The Government has instituted a strict two-week quarantine for Jamaicans returning to, or visiting the country.
Cawley launched Travelers Care in January 2019 after over 20 years working with Sandals Resorts, Air Jamaica and Delta.
The company which has companions in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta and Los Angeles resumed operations in June after California Governor Gavin Newsom reopened that state's economy.